Space was at a premium at the Manteca Civic Center in 1998. Many members of the Vision 2020 Task Force— the citizens ‘ committee formed by the then City Council to assist in the drafting of the new municipal general plan, which is basically a growth plan — were shocked to see some of the working conditions of municipal workers, particularly Manteca Police officers.
Officers literally fought for elbow space in their cramped offices as evidence waste was forced into outside storage areas. Detectives were relocated to an old county farm inspector building on Moffat Boulevard due to space constraints. The task force suggested that the Civic Center complex be expanded to 1001 W. Center St. had to add workers and services to accommodate what they were told would be 30,000 more residents because Manteca was expected to reach 77,000 in 2020.
Nevertheless, the city staff questioned whether all services could be accommodated on the existing site as intended when a master plan for the site to be completed in 1978 was adopted in 1986. The master plan called for a 15,000-square-foot auditorium to be added to the entertainment rooms originally designed as the first step of a center for performing arts. A 10,000-square-foot community center for general recreation uses, hall rental and such also was proposed.
Council balked in 2004 at the cost of implementing the 3rd Master Plan Civic Center The council balked at the price tag and ordered staff to study solutions for cramped police operations. With a plan to buy and remodel the 57,000-square-foot former Qualex film processing plant on Manteca Industrial Park, workers agreed to buy the Qualex property using funds from the redevelopment corporation. As they were preparing the plans to remodel the building state law, cells constructed when part of any new police department modified with regard to retaining.
Departments were expected to provide 24/7 prison staff. The recent change in law has not had an effect on existing police stations. This meant moving to a large police facility would add an additional burden of $500,000 a year to jail staff. The city stepped back rather than making a move that would raise operating costs. Then budget cuts in 2010 decreased the commissioned officers ‘ ranks by 12 and also removed other employees. More than 80 workers from the municipal workforce were trimmed overall by the city.
The pressing space need that existed in 1998 at the Manteca Police Department hasn’t gone away. But neither new police facilities nor a new town hall are part of a postponed capital improvement program approved by the council consisting of 18 projects including an aquatic center, library extension, and performing arts facility with a total cost of $102 million.